Baby Audio is known for their range of award-winning effect plugins. With BA-1, the company releases their first ever virtual instrument – an analog-modeled synthesizer plugin.
A Synth With A Soul
BA-1 is our modern re-imagination of a cultish 1982 analog synth that looked like a toy but sounded like a beast. It brings you pure and authentic textures that are fast to program and dripping with color.
BA-1 is based on a portable 1980s synth with a toylike appearance and a gritty sound. Despite its small size, it left a big mark on music history, while still flying somewhat under the hype radar. The original has been used as a secret weapon for bubbly synth textures by some of Sweden’s most successful pop producers of the past two decades. It was also a staple of 1990s digital dancehall and beloved by the indietronica scene for its raw lo-fi quality. The ‘CS01’ - as the original is called - has never been properly captured in software form. So for our first ever synth, we started there.
In keeping with our motto ”it’s an evolution, not an emulation”, we modeled the hardware with the greatest possible accuracy, before carefully upgrading it with new and useful features. A second analog-modeled oscillator, FM, polyphony, and more, help to vastly expand the sonic palette of the original. All while keeping its signature sound unspoiled.
Additionally, BA-1 lets you drain the battery, bend the circuits, and use the built-in speaker – for an authentic lo-fi aesthetic that you could normally only get with hardware.
If you know our company, you’ll know that effects are our specialty. So we’ve treated BA-1 with an FX section worthy of its own plugin. The effects chain is inspired by budget 1980s rack hardware and captures the lo-fi charm of the home studio scene of the era. The overdrive is modeled after a guitar pedal, while the delay, reverb and chorus effects are based on cheap, but amazing, digital rack units.
In BA-1, the effects are not an afterthought but an ingrained part of the sonic signature. So tweak, use, and abuse them.
BA-1 is simple, but surprisingly tweakable. We’ve put great effort into tuning all parameters to be in the perfect sweet spot. This results in a rewarding programming workflow where tweaking BA-1 is a lot of fun and you’ll create new patches on repeat.
And if a simple interface is not fast enough, you can always use the smart ‘Re-Gen’ feature. Hit Re-Gen and BA-1 will automatically create new and musically tuned patches with every click.
4 Color Options
After long hours in the studio it can be nice to see something new. BA-1 lets you switch between gray, blue, purple and orange color modes to keep things fresh. Click right here on the colored squares to preview the options.
500+ High Quality Presets
BA-1 comes with a ton of new musical inspiration in the form of 500+ carefully crafted presets. This includes 4 genre-based expansion packs created by some of our favorite sound designers. Whether you’re into synthwave, modern pop, lo-fi hip hop or 80s / 90s nostalgia, we got you covered.
The sound generators are the heart and soul of BA-1. Meticulously modeled to offer the raw grit and drift that made the original hardware so beloved. The triangle and PWM waveforms are particular highlights if you want a classic 80s dub sound. A second oscillator has been added in BA-1 - compared to the original - for more flexible sound design options.
FM adds complexity and depth to the classic analog subtractive architecture, giving you more sound design options. Dial-in the FM-oscillator either an octave above or below Oscillator 1 to add some plasticky 80s texture.
Analog-modeled and nicely rounded 24dB low-pass filter. The resonance offers a gritty bite and will start to self-oscillate when pushed towards the 95-100% range – just like the real hardware.
The envelope lets you shape the sound with the same quirky side effects as in the original hardware. Additionally, we’ve added the option to host-sync the attack time to your DAW’s BPM. This allows for sweeping sounds that rise in perfect sync with your music.
Switch between Mono and Poly mode (the original hardware was mono only). Turn Velocity Sensitivity on or off. Open the Midi Settings. Or reset BA-1 to its initial state.
A simple LFO that is easy to utilize and hard to mess up – like the original. We’ve added the possibility to sync the LFO to the host BPM for more modern applications. Furthermore, the LFO section hides one of BA-1’s many easter eggs: Click the “Target” label to find it.
Synths sound better when they ‘move with the mix’. That’s what the Sidechain feature is for. It can work in ‘External’ or ‘Internal’ mode. By default, Sidechain is set to ‘Internal’ and will create an automatic 4/4 ducking pattern synced to your host tempo. This can be dialed-in to taste. Click the ‘Routing’ label to switch to ‘External’ mode and duck BA-1 when a sidechain input is present. Place the sidechain either before or after the FX section by clicking the routing switch.
Tone + Drive
BA-1’s FX section would be worthy of its own retro-color plugin. It is inspired by cheap 1980s rack effects and guitar pedals. ‘Tone’ offers two shelving filters to easily make BA-1’s character darker or brighter. ‘Drive’ adds gritty analog-modeled distortion and has two modes: ‘Circuit’ models the effect of circuit bending the original hardware, while ‘OD’ models an 80s overdrive pedal.
Delay + Reverb + Chorus
The grainy digital delay, reverb and chorus combo is THE sound of the 1980s! We’ve recreated this epic FX combo in BA-1 – modeled after budget rack hardware from the era. Engage all three effects at once and you’ll have a hard time programming a dull sounding patch.
The original synth could be powered by batteries. But they never lasted long – and weird sonic artifacts were introduced as the power deteriorated. We’ve modeled this behavior and exaggerated it slightly for a better effect. Drain the battery to achieve pitch fluctuations, noise and distortion the further down you go.
Sometimes a mix needs some ‘moving air’ to come alive. While the original hardware’s speaker was by no means high quality, it had a quirky and pleasant lo-fi vibe. We’ve modeled it in all its rough glory. When using BA-1, you can click the speaker button to switch from line to speaker output.
Creates new and unique patches with every click. Unlike a regular randomizer, Re-Gen hosts a smart algorithm, calibrated to come up with usable and musical presets on the fly. When you’re stuck for inspiration, click Re-Gen and let it take you in a new direction.
BA-1’s plugin window can be fully resized.
* The first proper analog-modeled emulation of the CS01, a beloved and cultish 1982 monosynth
* Vastly expands the sonic palette of the original – thanks to careful upgrades and new features
* Includes a colorful FX section inspired by budget 1980s hardware
* Fun and easy to program, yet surprisingly versatile
* 500+ high quality presets and a Re-Gen function for instantly generating new patches
* If you want authentic, lofi-leaning, synth textures in a plugin, this is it!
* Plugin formats: VST, VST3, AU, AAX.
* Platforms supported: Mac OS 10.7 and up (including Native M1 Compatibility). PC Windows 7 and up.
* DAWs supported: All major DAWs, including Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Cubase, Nuendo, Studio One, Bitwig, Reaper, Reason etc.